HEALTHY CORNER STORES
Making healthy foods more visible, affordable, and attractive in neighborhood grocery stores
Many residents often shop at corner stores within walking distance from their home, worksite, or school for meals to feed themselves and their families; however, most corner stores stock a disproportionately high amount of processed convenience foods compared to fresher, healthier options. In a 2012 survey of regular Minneapolis corner store customers, 94% said they would buy fruits and vegetables at their neighborhood corner store if they were made available and affordable to them.
The Health Department is teaming up with corner store owners in Minneapolis to improve access to fresh produce and healthier foods such as low-fat dairy and whole grains. Store owners learn important skills for buying and handling produce, and colorful signs help customers choose healthier food options.
Specifically, the Health Department and its partners are focusing on:
- Increasing Healthy Food Inventory: Providing customized support for 10 Minneapolis corner stores to help them increase their healthy food inventory, including fresh produce, healthy beverages and low-sodium offerings. These stores will become "model" healthy stores for the community.
- Purchasing and Displaying Healthy Foods: Offering free healthy food merchandising packages to store owners to improve fresh produce displays, and facilitating connections to local produce distributors and farmers to procure affordable healthy foods.
- Supporting Past Participants: Maintaining relationships and lending informal support to the 35+ stores previously enrolled in the Healthy Corner Store Program as well as new owners interested in increasing healthy foods in their store.
- Fostering Community Collaboration: Encouraging residents, community organizations or youth groups to "Adopt-a-Shop" by offering a helping hand to make changes and show local store owners their desire for increased access to healthy foods.
- Changing City Food Policy: Developing and implementing revisions to the Minneapolis staple foods ordinance to increase the amount, variety, and quality of basic healthy food items available in licensed grocery stores.
Where are Healthy Corner Stores in my neighborhood?
Look for the Healthy Corner Store Signs in front windows and inside stores. Check out these participating stores to see their displays of fresh produce and other healthy foods!
- Jimmy's Foods - 1121 12th Ave N
- K's Dollar and Grocery - 1021 W Broadway Ave
- Zaad's Foods - 1510 W Broadway Ave
- Penn Gas Stop - 2606 Penn Ave N
- Fremont Market - 3558 Fremont Ave N
- Northside Food Market - 3559 Lyndale Ave N
- Minnesota Halal - 1926 Chicago Ave
- Midwest Halal - 2000 Portland Ave S
- Amigo One Stop - 3159 Chicago Ave
- Super Plaza Halal in the Cedar Riverside Towers - 1525 4th St S
Check out the Google Map link to these healthy corner stores!
- In 2013, stores participating in the program increased their percentage of produce sales by 155%!
- Since 2010, over 30 stores in north, northeast and south Minneapolis have participated in the program.
- Store owners report throwing away less produce each week due to spoilage and having more demand from customers to continue stocking healthy foods once becoming part of the program.
- The Minneapolis Health Department is working with local produce distributors and growers to develop a sustainable system of procurement for store owners. Currently, the procurement system is delivering fresh produce to a small number of stores and has plans to ramp up their reach to service a greater number of stores throughout Minneapolis.
I am a store owner. How can I make my store a Healthy Corner Store?
Economic studies show more and more customers want healthier foods and your store is a prime business that can offer these foods to the community. If you are a corner store owner and are interested in offering healthier foods at your store, we can help!
- In 2015, the Health Department will be offering free merchandising packages and basic technical assistance for all store owners interested in increasing the quality and availability of healthy foods in their store, while supplies last.
- Need new mechanicals or coolers? You may be eligible to apply for a low interest loan to purchase new coolers or mechanicals to stock healthy foods through a loan program offered by the Health Department and Community Planning and Economic Development. Please contact us for more details.
I am a resident. How can I make a store in my neighborhood a Healthy Corner Store?
- Talk with the store owner at your local corner store and tell them you want to see more healthy food options!
- Tell them about the Healthy Corner Stores program and what we offer. Get them in touch with us so we can give our support to their store.
- The Minneapolis Health Department is helping community members "adopt-a-shop"! This program is designed for neighborhood residents, youth, or community organizations interested in working with stores to encourage owners to offer healthier selections, decrease tobacco sales to minors and make their neighborhood corner store a healthier place to shop. Contact us for more information!
For more information, contact:
Nora Gordon, Public Health Specialist
- Corner Store One-pager - 2013
- Corner Store Sales Evaluation One-pager - 2013
- Corner Store Final Report - 2013
- Corner Store Sales Evaluation Report - 2013
- Corner Store Healthy Food Implementation Guide (2012)
- Healthy Corner Stores Network
- Healthy Eating Research - Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Minnesota
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Last updated Feb 2, 2015